How many people watched the Daddy Long Legs livestream? Full statistics REVEALED!

In case you hadn’t already guessed, I’m a guy who sets pretty high expectations for myself.  In my work, as a husband in my new marriage, in my golf game, etc.

So when I decided that Daddy Long Legs would be the first ever Broadway or Off Broadway show to be livestreamed around the country . . . I set some pretty high expectations for what it would look like, how many people would tune in, what the audience would think of the show, and more.

And, well, thanks to all of those passionate theatergoers out there in the world, we exceeded even my super high expectations.  (My favorite part was when we trended NATIONALLY on Twitter, even overtaking #GoldenGlobes.  Those movies think they are so cool.)

I’m a big believer that to be a big business, you have to behave like a big business.  And since television and film reveal their Nielsen-esque stats to the public, I wanted to do the same thing with the livestream of Daddy Long Legs.

Because this was the first time this has ever been done on or Off Broadway, we’re going to reveal much more than just the number of eyeballs.  Through the raw data provided by my tech and production partner, Livestream.com, combined with thousands of responses to a survey we gave our viewers, we found out all sorts of answers to the habits and the desires of the livestreaming theatrical audience . . . including where they came from, how they watched, and how much they’d pay for an experience like this in the future.

And, we put all of this and a whole lot more in the infographic below.

But, let me give you my quick top line “Executive Summary” before I let you dig into the infographic.

You ready?  Cuz after you read this, I think you’ll agree, that the theater can never go back . . .

First, the number you’ve been waiting for . . .

HOW MANY PEOPLE WATCHED THE LIVESTREAM?

150,055 people watched the livestream, which is the equivalent of 2.7 years of sold-out houses in our 130-seat theater, and 10.4 weeks of sold-out performances of Wicked at the Gershwin Theatre on Broadway.  And we got ’em all in one 24-hour period.  This is exactly the steroid shot of word-of-mouth that smaller and less brand-tastic shows need to get noticed by the traditional audience.

What makes this number even larger than it seems, is that we spent no money advertising the livestream!  All of the marketing that we did was grassroots guerrilla style.  We did press, we did pre-sign ups, we hit social media like crazy . . . and we got over 150,000 to watch.  Imagine how many people would tune in if we put dollars behind it?

WHERE WERE THEY FROM?

Our audience was from 135 countries around the world.  (I didn’t even know there were that many countries in the dang world!)  Yes, there are Broadway fans in Grenada, Belize, Ukraine, Fiji, Bulgaria . . . and yes, the Syrian Arab Republic.

But in addition to this awesome reach, drilling it down is even more interesting for its potential to drive ticket sales . . . as the largest percentage of views came from within driving distance to the Davenport Theatre, where Daddy Long Legs is currently playing.

WHY DID THEY TUNE IN?

Another stat that demonstrates the potential of future livestreams is that 40.3% of the audience had never heard of Daddy Long Legs before the livestream.  Yet they tuned in anyway.  That’s how much the theatergoers out there are craving this kind of experience.  They’re willing to watch something they know nothing about, simply because it’s theater from NYC.  And obviously for Daddy Long Legs, the positive exposure to all those people who know nothing about us is a tremendous marketing win, and one of the reasons I did this in the first place.

DO THEY WANT MORE?

A whopping 99.5% of our viewers want to see more Broadway and Off Broadway shows streamed in the future.  Let me say that again . . . 99.5%!

Think that’s good?  Wait for it . . . cuz 82.2% said they would PAY for the experience of livestreaming a Broadway or Off Broadway show (Netflix, Amazon, Hulu and the like have actually warmed audiences up to the idea of paying for streamed content).  We also asked the viewers how much they’d pay for future livestreams, and the answers are all in the infographic.  And here’s a spoiler, they’d pay more for a stream than they would a DVD.  See how much in the graphic below.

LIVESTREAMING AIN’T JUST FOR THE KIDS

The average age of our livestream viewer was 46.6 years old.  The average age of the Broadway theatergoing audience according to Broadway League demographics is 44 years old.

68.3% of the livestream audience was women.  68% of the Broadway theatergoing audience is women.

Pretty clear, right?  This was the typical theatergoing audience.  From an advertising perspective, this is a great way to capture an audience’s attention, for a heck of a lot longer and in a much more comprehensive way than a 30-second TV commercial.

LIVESTREAMING LIFTS ALL BOATS

After our livestream, ticket sales did increase . . . but honestly, I never expected sales to blow up our box office (which is something I wish some of the unions would understand).  That’s not why we did this.  We did it to accelerate word-of-mouth, for long-term gain, not short-term.

But I was very interested to see how it affected other show-related products that viewers could purchase with a click, like, oh, I don’t know, our cast album.

In the 10 days following the livestream, Daddy Long Legs cast album sales increased 484.0% over the same period before the livestream.

Pretty nifty stuff, right?

Well, there’s a lot more, and it’s all fascinating.

And it’s all in the infographic below.

If you are interested in the livestreaming of theater, read it and share it, because we’ve got to get more people on this e-bandwagon.

The biggest takeaway from the livestream is that our audience wants this.  Badly.  They’re begging us to share what we’re doing here with all of those who can’t get here for whatever reason.  Maybe that’s the mother of two young kids from San Diego who emailed me and told me she can barely get out of her house, never mind to New York City to see a new show.  Or the kid from Indonesia who wants to study theater in the States someday.  Or the 85-year-old woman who just can’t make it out to the theater anymore, so she was overjoyed that we could bring it to her.

They want it.  And now it’s up to all of us, Producers, Unions, Artists, etc. to figure out how we give it to them on a more regular basis . . . because I’m convinced if we do, they’ll repay us for it ten times over.  Maybe not in dollars, but in the development of tomorrow’s audience.

As I said before and as I’ll say again until this is more commonplace, the digital distribution of our theatrical content is the biggest audience development tool that we are NOT using.

It’s time to figure out how to take that tool out of the box.

Enjoy the infographic, and thank you to everyone who tuned in for supporting this endeavor, including my partner-in-producing on Daddy Long Legs, Michael Jackowitz, and all my co-producers including Hunter Arnold, Peg McFeeley Golden, Tres Rosas, Ben Bailey, David Bryant, Caiola Productions, Carl Daikeler, Jeffrey Grove, and Marguerite Hoffman, who supported this “crazy” idea, as well as my courageous actors, Megan McGinnis and Adam Halpin, the authors John Caird and Paul Gordon, our musical supervisor Brad Haak, our design team of David Farley, Paul Toben and Peter Fitzgerald, and everyone at the Davenport Theatre.

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Daddy Long Legs Livestream

 

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– – – – –

Did you enjoy the Daddy Long Legs live stream, or the post live stream fantastic stats? Then head over to my post Why I’m producing Daddy Long Legs Off Broadway, to read my initial thoughts on producing this show.

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Comments
  • I am delighted to have been part of the count that was really enthusiastic about your streaming of Daddy Long Legs. However, I sometimes think in surveys respondents lie. I believe many of your respondents are “ashamed” to admit that they would not be willing to pay for the priviledge of streaming a show. I indicated I would not be willing to pay as I’m under the impression that the cost to you is nothing or minimal. Free streaming is and should be considered an opportunity by the powers that be to expose an entire new audience to actually decide, having seen the streaming, to go to the theater who have never been or even considered the idea. Although I am a New York theater goer, I am 98% certain what you made happen should be free. Thank you for asking. DBK .

    • Sam says:

      Absolutely 100% agree. The free streaming was part of the appeal of the whole thing. And as you can see, it certainly made a difference. I agree that sometimes people are embarrassed to say that no, they would not be willing to pay for a livestream. This whole experiment was extremely successful. Congratulations! I hope to see more livestreams in the future!

    • Lee says:

      I agree more people would watch a free live stream but as one of those who said I would be willing to pay for the service, I would pay. The price I would be willing to spend would depend on the show though. Something like this I would think $10-15 would be fair. On the other hand something like Hamilton I could see paying $50 for. And other popular shows (Wicked, the King & I, etc) I would pay $25-30 for. If the pricing is fair (and by that I mean affordable) I definitely think there’s a market for it. However, I don’t live near enough to NY (and it is unlikely I will take a vacation there) and this is the only legal way for fans like me to experience theatre in this way, and I know there are others like me who would also pay for streaming.
      Actually – I bought & downloaded the cast recording the day after to ‘pay’ for watching the free stream because I wanted to give something back and that was the only way I could show my support and thanks.

    • Michael Gilboe says:

      It is far from free for him to do this. There are many unions involved, many people to pay, and a TON of negotiating with the unions to let it happen at all. If everyone wants everything to be free, they deserve what they will eventually have.

  • David Abramson says:

    Congrats, Ken, on this success and your out-of-the-box thinking in live-streaming Daddy Long Legs. Now the question is how to maximize the revenue for this approach while not competing/deterring with people who want to see it live at significantly higher prices.

    Certainly the streaming approach lends itself to a more international audience — those people unlikely to want to spend the money and take the time to travel to NYC to see it live. Theoretically, you could lifestream live performances on a weekly(?) basis.

    Good luck with whatever you ultimately choose to do.

  • Brad Duffy says:

    Any plans for a DVD?

  • Catherine Bell says:

    The Tony Awards should create a category for the most ingenious producer. I’m confident your acceptance speech would cause others to follow your lead. I hope Daddy Long Legs will still be playing in early May so that I can enjoy the intimate theatre again with my daughters. Thank you!

  • Hannah says:

    I loved everything about it .. The concept, the quality and the timing .. I’m an avid musical theatre fan and the live stream was wonderful. I often attend shows more than once and would certainly see them if they were live streamed. I also loved the way that the actors added their own perspectives etc during the breaks .. Something we don’t get from actually attending the theatre and I love the way that this puts the fans in touch with them, in the same way we see our favourite film stars on chat shows. The theatre going public are not really aware of the people they go to watch (apart from the two or three world famous ) unless they study the playbills etc . I think live stream gives a chance for actors, directors, musicians etc to have more of a platform for comment and in turn build a fan base that in turn would add to a productions future promotion to the theatre going public . Anyway .. Those are my thoughts – in short, I loved it, would definitely be making an effort to go and see it (touring show or Broadway next time I’m in NYC ) and I can’t wait for the next one!

  • Siobhan Olson says:

    This was awesome because your live-stream production company did a great job. We’ve all seen live shows on TV that didn’t work. Kudos to the producer, camera people and techies. Congrats!!!

  • Kaeylea says:

    Daddy Long Legs is a fantastic show – great story and beautiful music that was superbly performed and directed. Living in Ireland, I do get to see quite a few West End shows on frequent trips to London (recently saw Kinky Boots at the Adelphi Theatre!), but it’s unlikely I would have had the chance to see Daddy Long Legs any time soon – and what a loss that would have been! I’m one who immediately went to order the cast recording and song book. I LOVE this show – thank you for the live stream!! I would pay to see more great shows like this in the future.

  • Ann Harada says:

    So thrilled for these amazing results. It only confirms my feeling about theatre which is, “familiarity breeds content”. All those people liked what they saw on screen so they bought tickets to the show and they bought the album. Being a household name is important. We all saw Les Mis on stage and then We still bought tix to the movie! You did great getting all those eyeballs on to your show.

  • Marta Machado says:

    Wow, so glad to see Brazil within the top 10 countries with the highest percentage of views! Again, thanks for that musical treat.

  • Amanda says:

    I had never heard of Daddy Long Legs and I didn’t actually like the premise but decided to watch to be part of this event. I thought that if I didn’t like it I could turn off after a while. I was Enchanted from the first song. I now plan to buy the album and I will go to see it live if I have ever get the chance. What a gift. I hope it is the first of many and you can continue to push the boundaries and bring theatre to those who would not otherwise have the chance to see it live. National Theatre Live does this for plays – why not musicals? Thank you!!

  • How thrilled I am that theater (albeit slowly) is making its way into the 21st Century! And you are right, thanks in no part to the unions like Equity, of which I am a member. For YEARS I have lamented the backwards thinking of my union when it comes to video and recording. Not only do I want record of my performances, but directors, playwrights, producers, and theaters want it as well, especially when a play/musical is new and still evolving both artistically and in gaining an audience. Livestreaming and video services like this and Fathom Events serve a purpose and open up the arts to a wider audience that was unattainable years ago. Keep pushing the industry, Ken. Not only do audiences and actors want it, theater itself NEEDS it.

    (Also, there’s a grammatical error in the infograph. In the intro paragraph, it states “a historic, precedent-setting first.” It should be AN historic.)

  • Albert Brown says:

    During a recent trip to NYC, we almost got tickets for Daddy Long-Legs, but opted for a different play. Now we got to see it after all. I’m not sure how this would affect our future theater-going decisions, but it’s an interesting option. No technical problems, beautiful camera work, and the idea that it was live added to the experience.

  • Carvanpool says:

    Not sold on it.

    So you sold more cast albums. How should the unions feel about a shortened run? Do they get any dibs on the swag? Doubt it.

    Free is nice. Paid is another story. The self selected responses must be taken with a grain of salt.

    Don’t you think Facebook or Twitter, or any other site would charge for using it if they could?

    A nice experiment, where unions have little say. That it serves any interest other than the producer is far from clear.

    Continue at your own peril. You may just be mining fool’s gold.

    • Solange De Santis says:

      I have no connection to the production – apart from watching it – but I’m always interested in criticism because you learn more from it than from praise. You have a certain valid viewpoint but one thing that occurs to me is that the livestream actually does serves interests other than the producer’s, including the union members. The creative team sees its work go before many more eyes – and certainly the actors can reap the benefit of increased visibility. But that goes for the composer, book writer, lyricist, even sound and lighting designers. It may not be an immediate dollar in their pockets, but down the road …

    • cftkane says:

      I think unions would be at their peril to sabotage this idea. If you know about theatre, you know that a lot of shows close without ever turning a profit. The unions don’t get paid after the show closes. If you can create a revenue stream from people like me who can’t get to NY to see every show they would if they could, it can only help any worthwhile live theater production.

  • Anne Bonowitz says:

    I used to get to NYC at least twice a year to see shows. Now I can’t get there so often. This was a

    wonderful experience. I can’t wait for the next production you do.

  • Kayla says:

    This is honestly so so cool. Love that the streaming is LIVE, unlike a DVD where there’s time to edit and tidy up the shots (cough cough the final performance of Rent DVD, Company, to name a few). Obviously doing more livesteams like this is complicated for ticket sales, etc, but a really cool start to something new.

  • Greg says:

    This is great information for a first time attempt, I think access to live theatre must grow and I hope some of our regional non-profits — who do fantastic work that may never reach Broadway — will find funding for this type of streaming outreach. For the naysayers, The National Theatre of London does live broadcasts of some of their productions in movie theaters. They are fantastic and require getting in your car and going to a movie theatre at a specific time. The quality of those shows is great and they charge he cost about $20. The ability to stream live into homes is a clear next step. Even if 50% of the people who watched Daddy Long Legs for free would pay $15 for the next broadcast, (75,000 x $15 = $1.125,00) it’s clearly a million dollar idea. Add to that the word of mouth, the cultivation of a new audience, the preservation of art for future generations, its a winner. There is probably room for the unions and creative staff to take a cut too. Bravo all around.

  • Solange De Santis says:

    One thing about the infographic jumped out at me – the highest percentage of viewers were in the oldest age group — 60+ — and the lowest were in the youngest age group. I think this means 1. please get rid of any ideas that older people aren’t using the Internet, social media, etc. and 2. this was less an online event than it was a THEATER event that happened to use online technology.

    For me, I had heard of the show and the Fred Astaire movie, but knew very little about the story. It is an enchanting show. Because I lead a ridiculously busy life, I wasn’t even able to see the whole thing, just some of it and the Q&A at the end. But it’s certainly tucked in my head as a possibility for a ticket purchase and now I know which of my friends/relatives would be inclined to like this type of show.

    Oh, by the way, I’m 61 and I’ve been longing to see broadcasts of theater since I went to the first Metropolitan Opera live HD broadcast. Bravo to Ken.

  • Dorothy Trigg says:

    I think these statistics are amazing and what you did here is incredible. The only questions I have after this are about viewing time. How long did somebody have to watch before they were counted? How many people watched all the way through? What was the average amount of time people watched?

  • Aaron Davison says:

    “Daddy Long Legs Live” a week after “The Wiz Live!” was refreshing to see as a lifelong fan myself of musical theatre. When I got bitten by the “Theatre Bug” with “The Phantom of The Opera” as the first show I saw, I went on to see more than 200 productions. At 23-years-old, I now reside in Florida farther away from New York City since moving ten years ago from Boston. I am inching to get back there to see Broadway again. However, financially that is just not possible anymore. Thus, for you as a producer taking on an initiative like live streaming a show for free is a HUGE thanks to consumers of theatre. I really do hope other producers take notice quickly and adjust to the digital age we live in, which is evolving every day. I strongly agree with what you had said in a statement: “If more people are exposed to musicals, the world will be a better place.” Keep working hard on bringing theatre into family’s homes and I will do my part. Thank you Ken!

  • Agreed on all counts! It was an amazing show. For this reason, we are BEGGING for this show to be released either by DVD or by CD. The cast album is good but this couple that did this particular show is outstanding. We hope they will do more together in the future. And thanks again for being a ground breaker. It takes hope and courage to be the first to do something but your determined efforts have paid off. The world applauds you and the all the workers at the Davenport theater.

  • Matthew says:

    One other source of revenue that I think you’ve increased is future royalties on local productions. I think so many more people have been introduced to your show, and once performance rights are available, will want to produce it in their hometowns!

  • Kathleen says:

    I recall reading Daddy Long Legs as a teenager and loved the story. I have been to see the show twice. I was wary the first time as I did not know how close the play would be to the book I loved. It is still the story I love. I watched the livestream as I had not seen Adam Halpin perform the role. If I could have figured out how to record the presentation, I would have done so. I want to see it again. If a DVD is ever sold I will purchase it.

  • Karen Hamlin says:

    As a 46 year-old woman from driving distance of NYC, I represent the average livestream viewer of Daddy Long Legs. More important, though, is who watched the stream with me: my 81 year-old father and my 9 year-old son. This was a wonderful family-bonding experience that enabled my fidgety son to enjoy the show. When I take him to see Broadway shows, he often doesn’t enjoy them because sitting still that long is too difficult for him. Watching at home is truly helping to prepare him to be a better theatre-going audience member in the future. I see between 10 and 20 shows per year on and off Broadway. I had been meaning to see Daddy Long Legs but hadn’t gotten around to it, and to be honest, now that I’ve seen it live-streamed, I will probably not spend money on a ticket to see it in the theatre. I’m constantly giving show recommendations to friends, and I will highly recommend this show. It is a gem.

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